Moore Large O’Neal Race Team – Pearce Cycles #1

The new for 2017 Moore Large/ O’Neal race team consists of 7 riders from youth all the way through to elite category and they are definitely one of the teams to watch for the season ahead.

Rider: Sion Margrave
Age: 15
Lives: Kent
Occupation: Student
Category: Youth
Favourite DH venue: Bike Park Wales
Best race: Hopton 2016
Favourite DH racer: Danny Hart
Ambition: Win a UCI DH world cup race.

Rider: Riley Jenner
Lives: East Sussex
Occupation: E-bike mechanic
Category: Junior
Favourite DH venue: Morgins, Switzerland
Best race:Forest of Dean Mini DH 2015 on a hardtail.
Favourite DH racer: Greg Minnaar
Ambition: Race UCI DH world cup races. Rider: Ellie Dewdney
Age: 30
Lives: Derby
Occupation: Rocket scientist
Category: Women
Favourite DH venue: Fort William
Best race: 2017 BDS rd 1 Nant G.
Favourite DH racer: Steve Peat
Ambition: Survive world masters in Andorra
Rider: Callum Brookes
Age: 21
Occupation: Bike mechanic
Lives: Uttoxeter
Category: Expert
Favourite DH venue: Schladming
Best race: BDS Revolution bike park 2016
Favourite DH racer: Mitch Ingley
Ambition: Rank up to Elite
Rider: Mitch Ingley
Age: 23
Occupation: Carpenter
Lives: Burton on Trent
Category: Elite
Favourite DH venue: Schladming
Best race: iXS European cup 2016
Favourite DH racer: Danny Hart
Ambition: Combine UCI DH world cup racing with running a business
Rider: Douglas Vieira
Age: 18
Occupation: Student
Lives: London
Category: Elite
Favourite DH venue: Fort William
Best race: Fort William UCI world cup 2016
Favourite DH racer: Roger Vieira
Ambition: Achieve a podium at a UCI DH world cup race Rider: Roger Vieira
Age: 22
Occupation: Roofer
Lives: London
Category: Elite
Favourite DH venue: Fort William
Best race: American Continental championships 2016
Favourite DH racer: Troy Brosnan
Ambition: Win UCI DH world cups

The pits area was buzzing as I arrived early Saturday morning for practice day, almost 300 riders eager to get on the legendary uplift and get their chance to ride the track. And boy what a track! Straight into some tight and steep berms the course then flowed its way over jumps, rocks and fast flat out drops before turning down the steep part of the track. So steep that spectators needed the trackside ropes to help themselves get to the top.

The course then changed into a long series of steep switchback corners with evil bumps, hidden roots and tricky jumps just ready to send you off course as a lot of riders found out during the day. The riders then sped out of the woods into a hard pedal section into the grassy finish arena.
The team spent the day getting up towards 20 practice runs each as they dialled in their lines and sessioned the difficult parts of the track with everyone agreeing that it was going to be a tough day ahead with some fierce competition in every category. Practice day ended with tales of hairy moments and line choice as Papa Vieira, top mechanic and all round awesome guy fettled the bikes ready for race day.
With two timed runs the racers had two chances to post their fastest time but with fierce competition in all categories from some of the UK’s fastest riders, there was no time to take it easy. Sion was the first team rider down and improved his time during the runs by two seconds to finish a solid 6th place and only four seconds from a podium position. Ellie was next and crossed the line in an impressive 4th place. After a nasty crash in run one, she finished the day only 0.5 of a second off the podium.

Junior rider Riley was the third team rider down and was happy with a fifth place finish. With only 0.75 separating 2nd and 5th place it shows that the racing was very tight. Next was Expert rider Callum who finished just outside the top ten in 11th place, again the category was so close with four seconds separating 1st to 11th! The teams three Elite riders were the last to go and ended the day with a superb 13th, 5th and 4th place with Mitch, Roger, and Douglas respectively. These were the closest times of the day as only 0.1 of a second kept Douglas from 3rd place.

With everything from grassroots racing to BDS, Pearce and UCI world cups this is definitely one of the teams to watch in 2017.

Words and photos: bigmacphotography

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